It was a dark time in Israel, marked by corrupt leadership and the absence of Godâs word from society. No one was listening to God and no one was speaking for Him. Enter Samuel. His name means âheard of Godâ and he was the answer to his motherâs selfless prayers for her nation. As a youngster, he began hearing Godâs voice and speaking Godâs word. It was clear from the start that God was shaping him for great things. Over the course of his life, Samuel would fulfill various roles â judge, priest, prophet, counselor, and the leader of Israelâs transition from a loose confederation of tribes to a united kingdom. The secret to Samuelâs effectiveness was his ability to hear the voice of God at every turn. His godly heritage and his willingness to listen to God made him one of the greatest leaders in the history of Israel. He was truly a man for all seasons. At the same time, Samuel made one tragic mistake that he was unable to reverse. He appointed his sons as judges for Israel even though they were corrupt. His human affections clouded his judgment and it provoked the nation to reject Godâs rule and demand an earthly kingdom. In the same way, God wants to equip us for greatness by allowing us to hear His voice and know His ways. If we are faithful, we will outlive our lives by passing that heritage to the next generation. If we fall short, we will leave a mixed legacy and provide a stumbling block for those we lead.